Friday, October 31, 2008

Scenes from a bonfire


Male HOST sits at a backyard bonfire on a crisp autum night with his two guests. GUEST 1 and GUEST 2 are young people in a committed relationship. GUEST 1 is a male and GUEST 2 is a female. GUEST 2 is making smores over the CRACKLING fire, the marshmallow still melting amongst the flames.

HOST: Tonight marks the first time I have allowed my 12 year old son to go trick-or-treating with a group of his friends without parental supervision.

GUEST 1: (Leaning into GUEST 2) Man, when I was 12 on Halloween, I remember getting my first kiss with Debbie Simpson in the back of my best friends garage. Yeah, that's what I was doing at 12 without my parent's supervision.

GUEST 2: (Looking straight into GUEST 1's eyes) Debbie Simpson? That's the name of the first girl I ever kissed too!

Momentary SILENCE as GUEST 1 and GUEST 2, intensley hold each other's stares.

Robust LAUGHTER ensues.

Crack-cakes and other things that go bump in the night.

In the spirit of Halloween and things that go bump in the night, I relay a real story with real characters that go bump in the night.
My girlfriend came over to my house on Tuesday to do some laundry. (she has no washer/dryer) While we were waiting around for the clothes to dry, I suggested we make some cupcakes. ( I'm back on the "crack-cakes" as I call them. They are soo good, I swear they are just like crack-can't just have one. Definitely fodder for a future post; with a recipe) So we whipped up about 2 and a half dozen of cakes, she finished her laundry and went on her way, crack-cakes in hand. Yesterday, while talking to her on the phone, I asked her if there were any cup-cakes left at her house.
She replied, "I had to take what was left into work. I have been eating them in the middle of the night."
To which I responded, "Are you still night eating?"
I had to laugh. She has been telling me for a few years now how she thinks she eats in the middle of the night. She has no recollection of the actual act of eating, but wakes up occasionally with gummi bears clenched in her hands or with wrappers strewn about the kitchen counter that weren't there when she went to bed. Once, she was having a conversation in the morning with her boyfriend when he suddenly asked, "What the hell is all over your mouth?" When she went to the mirror to inspect, she found dark, chocolate rings around the corners of her mouth from what she later deduced had been from night-eating more than one ice cream sandwich.
I know it is terrible to laugh because apparently this is a real affliction that affects 1 to 2% of the population. But I couldn't help but think it hilarious- shame on me. I have even seen this on Oprah or Dr. Phil once or twice, so I cannot claim ignorance on the subject.

According to Albert Stunkard, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania’s Weight & Eating Disorders Program, "People who fall prey to this syndrome are not simply indulging in a bad habit. They have a real clinical illness, reflected by changes in hormone levels.” Night eating syndrome, as it is called,was first described in 1955 but has only been recognized by the medical community since 1999. Wikipedia states, " to be considered a bona fide disorder, this pattern should continue for two months or more." Research also suggests that night eaters also have a preference for carbohydrates, which trigger "feel-good" neuro-chemical production in the brain. The theory is that it is an unconscious attempt to "self-medicate mood problems and relieve stress."
Apparently she has gained a few pounds over the past couple of years, but nothing alarming as her night-eating episodes are few and far between. Thank goodness for her.
So on this All Hallows Eve, when night has fallen and the house is quiet, except for a thump from the kitchen. Beware... it could be your, spouse, significant other, or roommate indulging in a little self medication. Happy Halloween.

ps-this picture is of my little pug, Jingles. Her expression reminds me of that famous 70's quote from a bumper sticker, "I'm so happy I could just S--T"

Thursday, October 30, 2008

We interrupt this program for a Special Report...

Ripped from the headlines of today's news, random information and some," what were they thinking" moments for your reading pleasure:

That would be our very own state senator, Sen. Dianne Wilkerson caught on hidden camera stuffing a $1000.00 bribe in her BRA!! This photo was proudly displayed on the front page of yesterday's Boston Herald and it is just the tip of the $23,500 iceberg she has been stuffing in her bra. Wilkerson was arrested Tuesday for taking eight bribes totaling $23k in exchange for her help in obtaining a liquor license and for transferring public land to a federal officer posing as a land developer. This isn't the first time Wilkerson has been front page fodder. No, the 54 year old, eight term senator is as crooked as a question mark and has been busted for, dare I say it, plagiarism (a la Mike Barnicle) in the Boston Globe and tax evasion in 1997 to name a few. Yet they keep electing her so she can represent our great state.
To add insult to injury, she goes on record yesterday to say, "I would like the voters of the 2nd Suffolk Senate District to know that I am staying the course of my campaign for the re-election on Nov. 4th. Not only does this represent the biggest challenge in my personal and political life, but it will test to the limit the notion of innocent until proven guilty." Ya think???

I like what this guy was thinking:

Newton entrepreneur Eric Friedberg has created a free, online game called, It's Easy To Win. Participants can go to and register for a chance to win cash prizes. He debuted his new enterprise earlier this month and already over 5000 people have signed up to play. Three time a week Friedberg is the online host to close to 1900 people who compete in three instant win games. Friedberg's advertiser's supply the prize money while Friedberg takes over the hosting duties.
With live streaming video randomly selecting the players, registered participants who correctly answer the questions within the time allowed, will receive their cash in the mail within days of playing online. Friedberg says he's already awarded thousands of dollars. How great is this idea? I have got to check this out since I could be considered part of his largest demographic, the 35 and older stay-at-home mothers. Friedberg also says there are a large group of people who play the 20 minute game at work. This guy's quite possibly a genius. Well maybe not a genius but one can only respect his entrepreneurial ingenuity.

Ooops Mel did it again!

That's tinseltown's own boozebag Mel Gibson, who has been in town shooting a movie, at Abe & Louie's steak house last night. The bar at Abe & Louie's is notorious around here as a premier "meat market" and we're talking Grade A. Looks like Mel grabbed himself some fine local cuts of beef. Poor Mel, did he learn nothing in rehab? No official word on whether or not he was carousing the bar or just having dinner, but judging from that awful hat and the goofy grin on his face, one can only speculate that Mel is up to his old tricks again. Good times.

Random fact alert:

Daylight is actually saving time!! A study posted in a letter in today's New England Journal of Medicine details Swedish researchers findings after looking at 20 years of records, that you are less likely to have a heart attack after the clocks turn back on Saturday and more likely to have one when the clocks moved forward in the spring. They believe that this finding could possibly be related to the extra hour of sleep we receive during the Daylight Saving time. I suggest you live it up now while the odds are in our favor!!

Just a few of today's headline making Daily Dandy's.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Moral Dilemma

The weirdest thing happened to me today and it left me facing somewhat of a moral dilemma.

I was in Boston at a very crowded CVS drug store where I noticed an ATM machine off to the side of the registers. I walked over to the machine and inserted my card and proceeded to make a withdrawal when I glanced down and noticed a $20 bill sitting in the cash dispenser of the machine. Since my withdrawal was not yet complete, I knew the $20 was not mine. I looked around the crowded drug store to see if anyone was waiting to stake claim to the money, but no one was near the machine I was using. No one was even looking in my direction so I finished my withdrawal, took my money and the additional $20 and stood off to the side to ponder my options. They were:

  1. Wait a few minutes to see if the $20 bill's owner would return to claim it after realizing it was gone.

  2. Give the money to CVS management so that they could return it to the owner IF they came back to claim it.

  3. Pocket the $20 and walk away.

I thought about whether or not karma was testing me (I am a big believer in karma) or that it was just plain luck. I thought about my kids and what I would have done if it had happened to one of them and not me. Whatever the reason, I was faced with making this decision.

What do you think I did?

Love will keep us together.

I am feeling the love today! It's always a great day when someone sends you a little pat on the back for a job well done.
Coco, over at Piece O' Coconut Cake has gifted me with not one but two fabulous prizes! And since I am feeling a little like Vanna White, I feel the need to share them with you all it and pay it forward.
The first:

She couldn't remember the rules so she suggested I make up my own. I decided to display these proudly and pass these on as a show of love to my fellow bloggers.

The second one:

It's not easy, what we do; coming up with creative, informational, witty, and stimulating fodder for a daily blog. We all have those days when you feel like you have nothing to say and a simple comment or two on a lazy post motivates to keep going. Then there are the days that you can't wait to get to your computer, so filled with creative energy, the post practically writes itself. Always eager to share your story with your fellow bloggers, you end up checking 3 or 4 times during the day for their comments and opinions on your thoughts. It's nice to know that someone in the bloggersphere is listening.

So as a show of support and love, pass these on to your favorite bloggers as a show of appreciation of their passions, hard work and their words.

I pass these on to:

Lydia at ... down the rabbit hole... My favorite! You are the best! Ever supportive and fabulous, you are most deserving of these awards. Thanks for always showing up.

Joe D at The Other World Wide Leader in Sports. My little blogger friend. His sports blog is way creative and he's got some really funny and amazing links on his blog. Check out the 72 year old b-baller and the link labeled "Kobe does Cruise" it's hilarious. Show him some love by dropping a comment.

Zibsy over at That Blue Yak . Zibbs you are the Hef to us "girls next door". I know you are way busy with your amazing blog and your obsession with driving it's traffic,(which is inspiring) but I am sure you could stop bye for just a moment and feel the love. Pay it forward dude!

Tova Darling you so would have been on this list-but I know that Coco already awarded you with two of your own. Congrats!

Feel the love today and pay it forward!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A mother's worry

My beautiful 14 year old daughter is a chronic asthma sufferer. She has been this way since the age of 5 and we have had to seek treatment at the hospital twice for shortness of breath and increasing difficulty with breathing. For a few years now we have discovered that a "cocktail" of medications she began taking daily, helps to control her asthma symptoms. She has been taking Advair (a steroid), Singulair and Zyrtek once a day for many years. We have been lucky, for the last four or five years, she has not had any major flare ups-until last Tuesday. I somehow managed to give her my cold,(a major asthma trigger) and she had an episode that required medical treatment. We did not go to the hospital, but I took her to the pediatrician and she was promptly given a nebulizer treatment of Albuterol. Since last Tuesday she has been better but today she needed another nebulizer treatment and now seems much better. I have to admit I felt uneasy about pumping all these meds into my baby's body even though she found immediate relief.
I decided to go to the internet and research natural remedies for the treatment of asthma. Here's what I found:

Honey : Honey is one of the most effective home remedies for asthma. It is said that if a jug of honey is held under the nose of the asthmatic patient and he inhales the air that comes into contact with honey, he starts breathing easier and deeper.
Garlic : Ten cloves of garlic should be boiled in 30 ml of milk. This makes an excellent medicine for the early stages of asthma. The patient should take this mixture once daily.
Turmeric: The patient should be given a teaspoon of turmeric powder with a glass of milk, two or three times daily. It acts best when taken on an empty stomach.

Some of the most common natural asthma remedies include:
* Fish oil products
* Magnesium supplements
* Antioxidants – Chamomile, rosemary, spearmint, thyme and cloves contain many antioxidants
* Ginseng and licorice

These all sound like great natural alternatives,(maybe not garlic, she is in high school) but how do I know if one or all will be effective in controling her symptoms?

Are there any asthma sufferers out there with any advice?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Dandy's Daily Eye Candy

My boyfriend is in trouble. BIG trouble-and I'll be dammed if there is anything I can do about it. You see, my boyfriend, Tom Brady, injured his knee in the first quarter of the first game of the year and will be out for the rest of the SEASON . Dev-a-sta-ting for all fans of Patriots football and doubly devastating for fans of my Tommy. Just devastating. But it has been seven weeks since he's been gone and we have learned to live with it.

This year we won't be seeing Tommy boy in his sexy little uniform on the sidelines. In fact, we won't be seeing Tommy on the sidelines on crutches either(which really sucks-it's no fun without Tommy) because as I said before, Tommy is in Trouble. (with a capital T)

But before I get to his trouble, let me give you some history: Tommy became an overnight sensation back in 2001 when he took over for an injured (and sucky) New England quarterback Drew Bledsoe. Yada, yada, yada, he never lost a game and the Pats went on to win their first ever Super Bowl title. Big Stuff here in New England, as you already know, right. But to look like this too??

It was love at first sight for all of us. Women, men, young, old, we were hooked. He then went on to win two more Super Bowls back to back and ALMOST complete an undefeated season last year; their only loss came in the Super Bowl against the New York Giants.
Now for the good stuff: Since Tommy became a big time sports star after his first Super Bowl win, his options suddenly became wide open and Tommy had his pick of beauties. He chose the lovely Bridgete Moynahan, a New England gal herself.

They stayed together for a few years and a few more Super Bowls until Tommy and Bridgette broke up 2006 and Tommy immediately started dating well known Victoria Secret supermodel, Giselle. Here's where the start of the trouble began for Tommy. Two months later, Bridgette announced to the press that she was pregnant with Tom's baby. Meeeouch! His golden boy image had just gotten sacked!

Despite the PR nightmare, things continued with Tom and Giselle and nine months later Bridgete gave birth to baby Jack. During that time, two football seasons to be exact, Tommy had great seasons but both ended in disappointing losses. The press soon labeled Giselle "Jinxelle" and wondered whether Bridgete was seen wearing an Eli/Peyton Manning shirt around town. (Tommy's football rivals) Tommy had taken some hits in the press this summer for not sticking around New England, as he usually had done, and adhering to his usual strict post-season conditioning program. Instead he and Jinxy were jet setting all over the world. Whatev's...

So as I told you, Tommy went down HARD in the first game of the season this year and lo and behold, more trouble. The big trouble. Tommy decides (against the wishes of the Patrioits) he's going to have the immediate and season ending KNEE surgery he needs in California, not New England. We can't really blame him. He wanted to spend some time with his adorable son, but the doctor he choose, on the recommendation of his family and Jinxy, is some ELBOW specialist best known for operating on Nicole Kidman. Not the hand chosen KNEE surgeons here in Boston, the medical capital of the world. Trouble. He gets a serious infection and has been operated on twice since his initial Oct 6 surgery to clear things out and they still haven't got this infection under control. It's now looking like months not weeks to heal the infection, there-bye pushing his recovery time table back and possibly putting next season into jeopardy. Needles to say the Patriots are not happy. And because nothing in New England sports can stay a secret for very long, word is out that our golden boy is slipping from his team's good graces. Oh the horror!!

To top it all off, Perez Hilton, the undisputed blogging King, (I read his blog makes $100k a month!) posts this picture with the story about the team being pissed at Tommy. And because when it rains it pours, Tommy's QB replacement is weak at best. He's not even a poor man's Tom Brady.

Ouch!! We are left here in New England to wait this drama out and hope for the best. Old women are getting out the rosary's, saying the Novena and women and men are lighting candles, praying for our boy's safe and healthy return to Gillette Stadium, proudly wearing his number 12 next season.

I know this all sounds like a strange case of hero worship on my part. (but did you look at those pictures of him??) and I'll admit to being a sucker for his handsome mug and his flawless quarterback skills, but it's not only me.

I think this picture of my brother at the game yesterday say's it best. About 1/3 of the fans at the game were wearing them. GET WELL SOON Tommy!!

Friday, October 24, 2008


So I was talking to my BF today and we we discussing her teenage daughter. Her daughter is a junior in high school and she has begun "dating" this senior guy recently. I say "dating" because we are not quite sure what their status is and were wondering what today's definitions of "teen" dating entail. Read on-
Her daughter, (I will call her A) and the senior guy, (I will call him D) have seen each other every day for the past three weeks. D picks up A every night after dinner and homework and they "hang out" until around 10pm. Sometimes they hang with a group of friends, sometimes they hang at A's house and sometimes they hang at D's house and have even had dinner with D's mom and dad. A and D do socialize at school occasionally, they talk briefly when passing each other in the hallway and in the cafeteria and on two occasions they have left campus to go out to lunch. They are also burning up the text lines, keeping in constant communication.

My BF asked her daughter if D was her boyfriend to which A laughingly replied , "Nooo." When my BF pressed her to define the relationship A stated, "We're just friends." Hmm. Friends who kiss? Yes, my BF can confirm that she has observed them in close proximity akin to snuggling while they were watching TV and smears of lip gloss on both faces after a night together.
But here's where it gets sketchy-A knows of another girl (a senior) who likes D and said girl has warned A to keep away from him. D is not into this girl-so he says- but the girl hangs out with D and his senior friends daily. Since A and D have begun seeing each other A has been included in social gatherings where the girl has been present. The problem is that A and D seem to be promoting their status as "friends" while any romance between them is strictly on the down-low.
My BF has had discussions with A about this and A has finally admitted that she just doesn't understand why they are in status-limbo. A has also said that for now she doesn't really care and is having fun.

OK-so I give A credit for not caring about whether or not D is her boyfriend right now but the key here is the right now part. Soon enough things will progress and as they get more intense, how does one warn against possible heartbreak or worse, ie; doing something because she thinks she has to and then getting dumped? Maybe someday soon D will proclaim to the entire student body that A is his girlfriend-maybe not. Does it really matter? But in the big picture it looks a bit like D is having his cake and eating it too-carefully. It's like he is leaving his options open, possibly until he thinks something better comes along. D has a reputation amongst his peers as a good kid, not a player by any means, a solid guy. A is a beautiful, popular and very vivacious girl. They would seem the perfect match. Why keep a possible romance a secret?
Is it the junior-senior thing? Is D doing the guy thing and keeping his options open? Is this really about D "bagging the big prize" and moving on. I hope not. As it stands right now A is absolutely enamoured with the attention she is getting from D. Can you blame her? But my BF is worried she will fall in too deep with guy who possibly does not want it known that she is his girl. I agree with her.

Does this make us out of touch? I may need to catch up on a few Gossip Girl episodes to find some answers.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Book Review:How Starbucks Saved My Life by Michael Gates Gill

I read a great book I just so happen to pick up at the book store while buying birthday cards for a friend. The title caught my eye and I picked it up thinking it was a biography about the founder of the international coffee chain. A rags to riches type story. When I turned it over to read the back I was immediately hooked upon learning that this story was just the opposite. A riches to rags story subtitled, "a son of privilege learns to live like everyone else." I immediately, (in the bookstore) opened to the first page and begun reading. The author, Michael Gates Gill, born to a prominent family and educated at Yale, grew up in the toniest of New York suburbs, Bronxsville. His father, Brendan Gill was a prominent writer for The New Yorker for 60 years, a best selling author and an insider to New York's elite. As was his destiny Michael graduated from Yale, was hired right out of college at one of the worlds largest ad agency's and was making a solid 6 figure income for some 20 odd years. Then, at the age of 53, he was fired from his executive position and his life spiraled out of control. Not only was he failing miserably trying make ends meet with his own consulting business, but his extra marital affair was exposed ending his twenty year marriage. With five children to support, his life in shambles, Gill takes us back to the day when his happenstance meeting with a young woman at a Bronxsville Starbucks changed his life.

Gill credits the simple pleasures of a job well done, the support and respect of his co-workers and his children for helping him turn his life around. His job at Starbucks really did save his life. Gill says he is the happiest he has ever been in his life and the success of a corporate title and a big salary aren't the components he defines himself by any longer. Despite all of this, monetary success did manage to find him. His memoir was a New York Times best seller and of course Hollywood followed. Tom Hanks has bought the rights to his story and will star as Gill in the film. This will no doubt bring his income level back into the six figure neighborhood, as will the inspirational speaking engagements and book tours he will be doing promoting his message. Gill says he has no plans to leave his barrister job at Starbucks.

I loved this story about humility and the lessons that it teaches. It's never too late to begin again, find redemption in menial tasks and be happy. Gill himself says, "I'm so much happier serving than I ever was being served."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Today's Special: My Christmas Wish List

It's not even Halloween yet and I am already thinking about Christmas. In the spirit of fantasy and fun, I give you my x-mas wish list:

Bliss Blood Orange and White Pepper "Bounty Set". This scent was inspired by a cocktail! It has a fabulous clean citrus scent with hints of white musk. The set includes a body scrub, shower gel and body lotion. The perfect trio for layering.

A fabulous diamond cuff! Because of course no trip to the supermarket would be complete without it!

How great is this $60 soft leather tote from Old Navy?? The question is do I really NEED another black leather tote?? YES!!
These YSL sandals are so killer!! These $800.00 babies are the classiest of stripper shoes.

A fabulous FAUX leopard print coat. This is a wardrobe essential for the season! (I may not be able to wait for Christmas)

OK, so I said it was supposed to be fun. This Maserati is my fantasy.

And since we are talking fantasy. Dare to dream! What do you want for Christmas?

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Common Cold

Why do they call it the "common cold" when there is really nothing common about it? Millions of people suffer daily from what is defined as "a highly contagious, viral infectious disease of the upper respiratory system." Is it defined as common because once afflicted with the disease or infection we become walking contaminant germ hosts, depositing these highly contagious spores on all those we come in contact with? Or is it common because regardless of color, nationality, political status, social status and gender, we are all susceptible to the illness? Bottom line: When you have a cold you never feel quite "common". In fact, just the opposite is true when you have a cold, you end up feeling abnormal, irregular and just plain crappy; uncommon.
Since I am feeling abnormal, irregular and just plain crappy right now I did a little research on the Common Cold and here's what I found:
  • According to the NIAID- people in the US suffer one billion colds a year.
  • The CDC estimates that 22 million school days are lost annually in the US due to the common cold.
  • The most common cold causing viruses survive better when the humidity is low-the colder months of the year.
  • A cold virus is usually deposited into the nasal passages through contaminated fingers or by droplets from coughs or sneezes.
  • The time from the beginning of the infection to the peak of the symptoms is typically 36-72 hours.
  • Adults average 2-3 colds a year while children average 6-10 colds.

Looks like I am in good company. Me and the common folk. The CDC recommends that the best form of prevention is vigilant hand washing to keep the cold virus from entering the nose. The virus is removed by the mechanical action of washing and they also recommend daily doses of vitamin C and other immune boosting agents to combat against the infection. All great advice but not much help to me now. Looks like for the next 24 hours I will resign to being common-eating common chicken soup, taking common aspirin, drinking common orange juice and resting in my common home looking forward to the time when I can resume my UNcommon life because I really hate being common.

Friday, October 17, 2008

For the love of the game

  • Disclaimer: If you are a Tampa Bay baseball fan; the content presented here is not for the faint at heart.

Today's blog is not a sports story in the technical sense of the word. Yes, there will be stats and baseball terms with players names that you may not recognize nor understand, but I urge you to read on because this is a great story. A great love story.

It's a story about the love of a nation, Red Sox Nation, as we call ourselves, and a team that just wont be denied. You see, we eat, sleep and breathe our sports here in Boston. It is a way of life and our teams become part of the fiber of our culture. If you live in Boston and happen to NOT be a sports fan, even if you can't stand sports in general, you still talk about it, watch it and get caught up in the magic of championship play because in this town there is no way around it. And last night delivered plenty of magic.

The baseball gods have smiled on Red Sox Nation yet again and given us another chance at history. Dr. House must have been at Fenway last night because only Hollywood could have scripted this one as the Sox were "de-fibbed" back to life.

Let me set the stage for you: The Sox, down 3-1 games in the best of seven games American League Championship series-(the winner of 4 games goes on to play Philly in the World Series)- and facing ELIMINATION, entered into last night's game in Fenway Park in a do or die situation at home. Win the game or it's all over. It wasn't looking good to start. The Rays jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, hitting Boston pitcher Matsuzaka hard in the first inning. Never a good thing in playoff baseball. By the third inning it was 5-0 and I was SICK with disgust and turned off the game. Soon enough though, my curiosity got to me and I switched back to the game. By now it was the seventh inning, still 5-0, and the Sox had jut brought Jonathan Papelbon to the mound, one of the games most feared and skilled closing pitchers. The problem here: Papelbon is a ClOSER. His job is to come into the game in the 8th or 9th inning to SAVE a lead. You never see Papelbon in early innings and never in a game you are seriously losing; only in an act of desperation. The Sox were desperate. Papelbon gets hit right away and the Ray go up 7-0. I had enough. No team had ever come back from a seven run deficit in playoff history and I couldn't watch any more. I shut the TV off and went to bed. The agony of defeat had broken my heart and I went to sleep facing what I thought was the inevitable; we were all done.

But shame on me for not believing. I should have known better, especially with this team. I woke to the news that my team had done what no other team had done in post season history, actually pulled off what they are calling the greatest comeback in sports history since 1929, and beat the Rays 8-7 in the most dramatic fashion. They will live to play another day and like the Grinch when his tiny heart grew three sizes, I was filled with love for my team again. A different kind of love than a romantic love, but a strong and deep rooted love none the less. A love for a past time that brings joy to so many. A love for a team that brings families together to watch around their TV's and unites it's community in their passion for their hometown Red Sox. A love that does not discriminate against skin color or political party, but does divide us by geographical location creating rivalries with opponents and enemies; their battles played out on a plush, green diamond. A love that allows us to witness and experience a small part of sports history and gives us stories to tell to our grandchildren someday. I know it is far from over. In this series the Sox still need to win 2 more games, in Tampa Bay, to advance on to the World Series, no small feat by any stretch. If any team can do it, they can as they have proven in 2004 and 2007. Regardless of what happens it has been a hell of a ride for Red Sox Nation and you can bet we will all be watching, for the love of our team, for the love of our community, but most of all for the love of the game.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Unplugged from reality

In an effort to become a more productive and united family unit, we have decided to make Wednesday nights at our house an "electronic free" evening. The rules are simple: from 5pm to 10pm we agreed to be completely unplugged.

  • no cell phones-(although the home phone was considered OK; but only if absolutely necessary)

  • no computers-(homework requiring a computer was to be completed before 5pm)

  • no TV

  • no ipods or other electronic devices

With two teenagers in the home, you can imagine that getting them to agree to this took some doing.

Them: "You mean no texting? No TV?"

Us: "That's right."

Them: "No way. What are we going to do?"

Us: "Why don't you both start with your homework?"

Them: "What about when we are done? We'll literally die of boredom!"

Us: "We wouldn't want that. How about reading a book? Or playing a game together or actually having a conversation as a family."

Them: "I'd rather be bored."

The debate continued on like that until they both gave up and agreed to participate. The Wednesday evening was chosen as our "unplugged evening" because it didn't conflict with, god forbid, anyone's favorite TV show night. So last night at 5pm our "experiment" began. My daughter was the first one down the stairs at precisely 5pm, cell phone in hand. There she found her mother furiously typing away at the computer, rushing to finish my latest blog entry and publish it before the 5pm deadline.

"Where is everyone? Mom, it's five o'clock," she said. My adrenaline began pumping through my veins; I was not finished. "Give me five more minutes, OK," I said. The look on her face said it all. I quickly hurried through, trying to complete my task when I noticed the time was 5:10. Reluctantly, I finished typing and signed off. Great, I was already breaking the rules and setting a fine example. We gathered together the family cell phones, turned them off and placed them into a basket on the kitchen counter for safe keeping.

After dinner, I had to take my son to his math tutor and was surprised by my daughter's request to accompany me. This was a first. She knew that I waited out the hour he spent with his tutor at the library and normally would never "waste her time" waiting. Instead we spent the hour chatting and went to the local pharmacy next door where we browsed the aisles, reading funny cards, looking at lipstick and make-up colors (she is a true product junkie in training) and browsing through magazines-TOGETHER. It was quite nice and definitely a welcome change in pace.

Meanwhile, back at home base, my guy was having his own experience being "unplugged". He was left home-alone. When we returned he was sitting at the kitchen table leisurely looking through a catalog in an immaculate kitchen, that was not at all that way when we abrubtly left from the dinner table. He had cleaned the kitchen to perfection and he proudly spouted off the list of chores he was able to tend to in his hour of solitude. I was quite impressed and he seemed so pleased and very relaxed.

Unfortunately, I was not able to spend the next unplugged hour with my family because I had to attend my daughter's high school back to school night but when I returned I found a quiet, happy family. The children were finshing up the last of their homework. They had spent the hour, with my guy, helping them to complete their work with effort, instead of rushing through it so that they could catch their TV shows. Hmm, this was shaping up to be a great way to spend an evening.

There was one exception I must note: at 9:30 pm the TV did go on...but not without a proper discussion and it put to vote. After all, we were in this together. We agreed that since last night was the final presidential debate and to be responsible and informed voters, as is our civic duty, we would watch the debate together as a family. The kids lasted only about five minutes but the great thing was, they went straight to bed, and early for once!

It had been a great success! We actually enjoyed it and are looking forward to next Wednesday. I think the best thing about unplugging for the kids was discovering that they could actually do it and survive. It was a great way for them to learn about being independent and building character. I, for one, cherished the uninterrupted quiet time and the positive effect it had on us all!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I'm it!! It's all about me!!

I was tagged almost a week ago and I fully realize that I am behind you all in this game, so please forgive me on my timing. Ever true to my word, I promised I would play so here goes:

Here are the rules for the game:
1.Link to the person that tagged you
2.Post the rules on your blog
3.Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself
4.Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs
5.Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.
6.Let your tagger know when your entry is UP.

Six non important/quirks/habits/things about Candy:

1. I swear I was born with an extra Y chromosome. Females are born with two X chromosomes and males are born with one X and one Y. I think I somehow ended up with an extra Y because I am such a guy when it comes to certain things. Truth be told- I am the biggest girly girl diva going;to be sure, but I also can sit down and talk sports, belch, bet, quote player stats and hang with the boys better than most guys. I know this because I have been told on numerous occasions by the men in my life. Plus, they always want to watch the big games at my house because I always serve the best game time nosh. I also love cars,(although I dont talk horsepower and things of that nature and wouldn't know my way around an engine) and I can play just about any sport. A perfect afternoon to me would be out golfing with my son, my daughter, my guy, my dad or any other member of my family. Once, on vacation with my guy, when we first started dating, I whipped his butt playing one on one basketball. My dream job, at one time, was to get a job in television sports as a commentator-but I guess I'm too old now and would definitely settle for sports journalism as a career.

2. I love miniatures. Anything and everything little! I love doll houses, and accessories from Barbie dolls because they are tiny little replicas of Barbie's fabulous wardrobe. I meticulously wrapped and saved my childhood doll house and it's contents and occasionally I take it out to admire it. I have always been this way as my mom used to predict that when I grew up I was going to marry a midget.

3. I was a top ten runner up in a state title holder beauty pageant. Once.. I absolutely HATE it when people acknowledge this. I did it when I was in college and figured it would be a great way to meet media types and possibly network for my big career in sports journalism. I told no one...although my mother told everyone and when I came back people were either interested in getting all the details of my experience and/or snickering behind my back. I knew very early into it that pageants were not for me when I realized that a large majority of the girls neither spoke to each other nor ate in front one another and that I had to be "on" at all times in full make-up and heels the entire weekend. I figure the weekend was not a total loss because I now possess the proper research if I ever decide to write a novel about a crazed beauty queen serial killer.

4. I am a terrible liar. (Which, of course, has been documented on this blog and can be archived under-lies.) This fact is quite ironic seeing as I was at one time married to the World's Biggest Liar. I am honest to my detriment and I guess you could say I am sometimes not aware of the fact that I am being lied to. My guy says that I think everybody is the Easter Bunny, but I'd rather see it as a blind faith in the goodness of others. Despite what I have been through, I still believe that most people have good intentions.

5. I am a sucker for love. Being an Italian, and because I posess a strong passion, I have the capability for intense love. I am constantly pawing and lovingly touching all of the people I adore. I believe that a hug can cure alot of what ails you and I believe that to be able to share that love is a great gift.

6. I still believe that I will someday be famous. I shared this fact with Tova Darling on her blog one day, and I realize that the clock is ticking. Despite the fact that my brother lovingly informed me one day, "I think that ship has sailed", I still have faith it can happen and will. You never know. I won't give up on my dreams.

I have been tagged by three people:
Piece O' Coconut Cake
Lydia @...down the rabbit hole...
a @red tent girls

I tag:
Joe@ The Other World Wide Leader In Sports- I know this is not the kind of content you have on your blog- but since it's only you and I for now, play along and you can delete it later.

The Bad Husband Chronicles-maybe I can get her to respond?

The dude from Day Old News. I don't know who you are but I read your blog daily. It's like a mini subscription to People magazine. Your funny.

My sista Pam Disarro. She does not have a blogger account...YET. But you will notice she comments daily. Sista-you can leave yours on my comment section. Just don't write a novel.

Ask Alice @Alice in Average-land-we share the same unemployed status.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Vacation Blues

I have arrived home safely and, of course, I am struck with a bad case of the "great vacation blues". I am grateful to be home and I missed my kids and my guy terribly, but I couldn't help but find myself wondering where I would be and what I would be doing if I were back in Paris:

I certainly couldn't go out my front door and walk over the the Louvre to get in my daily dose of culture. The Mona Lisa and the Last Supper and the many masterpiece's housed there would not be at arms length away.
Breakfast will not be croissant and melted chocolate served hot, with a side of rich, whipped cream and chocolate crepes.

I couldn't take a leisurely stroll on the banks of the Sine and watch the artists while they worked.

Today I will not be taking a 3 hour bike tour of the city where I would find hidden gardens and tiny villages in the streets of Paris I would have never been able to find on my own.

Sunday's mass will not be at Notre Dame, where the actual nail hammered into Christ's hand on the crucifix and the crown of thorns worn on his head were on display.I won't be having a lazy glass of wine and a plate of cheese at a fabulous outdoor cafe, where I could soak in the local culture and talk with an English speaking Parisian about life in the great city.

I can't go have a nightcap in the famous Hemmingway bar in the Ritz Paris, where a shrine has been erected to the elusive author of so many important literary works. It was rumored to be his favorite stop when in the city, spending countless hours there doing his favorite work; drinking.

Diana slept here.

Instead I am at home with my family where I belong. Of course, there is laundry to do, cooking and cleaning and work that sits waiting for me to attend to it.

I don't mind, really. I consider myself so fortunate to have had the opportunity to have gone and experienced it and I am so glad to be home.

But between you and I, and for a moment today.... I dream about yesterday.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

An American in Paris: Day Two

Random observations on another glorious day in Paris:

Parisians are obsessed with our politics. They love Obama and think that Sarah Palin is a boob. We even saw a derogatory political cartoon of McCain and Palin in a taxi cab.

No one talks on their cell phones while walking around in the city. I found this to be amazing. Think about the city that you live in or any major city, for that matter; now think about how many people you see walking around talking on their cell phones or texting. It is very rare to see a Parisian walking around talking on their cell phone.

  • All of the women wear boots. Granted it is fall ,but most of the chic French ladies are wearing boots of all shapes and sizes. Short boots, knee high, thigh high etc. Boots are back!! (And no UGGS!! We counted; so far we have seen 4 pairs of UGGS and I'm sure they were all American's wearing them)
  • Fringe will be coming to a store near you. Fringe is back! If you own something with fringe, pull it out and wear it proudly. You could even comment,"It's the latest craze in Paris!"
  • Parisians are cracking down on smoking. Everyone here still smokes, but now they can't smoke in every bar or restaurant. It was not unusual to see lots of people, at night, standing around outside a bar or restaurant, smoking.
  • They do NOT hate American's. As a matter of fact I found the opposite to be true. They are genuinely concerned about our economic crisis and our Presidential election. I have heard from more than one Parisian, "What happens in the US dictates our global economy."
  • They love their first lady. Carla Bruni is a rock star here, but they don't care much for her husband.

That is the Eiffel Tower sparkling in the middle.

Jim Morrison's grave. Last night's Fois Gras

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bon Jour!! Day One

Greeting from Paris!! Wow!! It was a very long day today. We arrived safely at 5:45 am and went to our hotel where we took a small nap! (much needed) Then we were off on a walking tour of the city. It was a glorious day and the weather was perfect with lots of bright, sun and warm temperatures. The first thing we did was eat!! But of course, and check out the cappuchino!! Ooo la la, tre bien! (excuse my pathetic attempts at French)

The patisserie's are amazing and I wish I could bring home chocolate and macaroons for all of you. The candy above is sold in a stand in front of the movies!!! There are so many varieties of candy, it was amazing!! Tres chic!! (yes I purchased some. I couldn't resist)

This is the Place Vendome, and is directly around the corner from our hotel. We did a little shopping, Oui, oui!! We then went over to the Louvre, a most spectacular site to see!

Those are my girls!!! I love them!! We then went to the famed Latin Quarter for some wine and cheese at an adorable outdoor cafe and engaged in our favorite sport of people watching. More about that later.

Before I go, I wanted to share with you this little French bulldog, in his little French shop, on his little French street, in his little French country.
I love it here!!!